Vinalhaven wind turbines

Since the Vinalhaven wind turbines began turning Nov. 17, 2009, Vinalhaven has been the center of a growing wind controversy. How can we develop and site responsible community based wind farms that meet the needs of all members of the community and limit the negative effects, such as noise, of wind turbines? Fox Islands Wind Neighbors represents a growing group of concerned year-round and summer residents working toward balancing the need for sustainable energy with the quality and integrity of island life. Visit us at www.fiwn.org to learn about wind energy on Vinalhaven, elsewhere in Maine, across the country, and around the world. This site is an effort to provide a brief view of some of the many important issues and situations that confront people faced with this balancing act. Vinalhaven is not alone in working out these problems.

We hope to be the place where solutions begin. Visit www.fiwn.org to learn about our story.

Sally Wylie

Vinalhaven

School board meeting

I was unable to attend the May 6 school board meeting, so to follow are the comments I had prepared. I encourage your readers, once again, to view the meeting when it becomes available on cable Channel 11.

I have talked with some folks about what is happening to our school community and it keeps coming back to local control. I wonder if that is what we have. I personally feel that “local control” is a total farce.

As citizens, we do have recourse with our school board representation by asking for a recall of our board members, but we must have someone to replace them. Is it local control when boards take federal stimulus money and then are told what can be done with it? Is it local control when the school is regulated and mandated to implement certain programs (and soon — curriculum) and to teach to a certain standard by the state and federal government?

So I chose to break it down further to individual control. It seems to me that the only way a parent has any control is to begin to hold this board, our children’s teachers and administrators accountable. This means to be involved, talk with the teachers, and engage your board members. If we do not do this, we truly give over our power to these few board members and those that influence our children several hours a day. A way, as a citizen, to maintain individual control is to get to the budget vote on May 25 at Rockland District High School and to your towns’ referendum vote on June 8.

If you don’t believe cutting “ghost” positions is a savings – vote no.

If you don’t believe losing teachers and administrators, whether by termination or shifting, is proper – vote no.

If you don’t think providing cell phones to school employees is necessary – vote no.

If you don’t agree that targeting a pretty much self-sustaining activity (cheering) is right – vote no.

If you do not agree with this board’s restructuring your schools and changing where your child will attend school – vote no. For how can you support something with your tax dollars if you do not agree with what is happening?

Please do not be intimidated by talk that it will give license to the superintendent to make more cuts. Stand firm for your children and your community.

I also want to implore our board to forgo future stimulus dollars that some board members, by their own admission, are “wowed” by, and have gotten us into programs that cost us in the end. With the 3 percent tax hike this superintendent and our school board are asking for, I say, that if they want more of our tax dollars, I would think they would start listening to their constituents.

Speaking of which, the survey on survey monkey is still open until June 1. Please take time to have your voice be heard. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PT6RMCD.

Angela Vachon

St. George

Letter misleading

The Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council represents more than 4,000 men and women in our state. Many have received a recent fundraising letter sent by the Maine Republican Party. This letter to licensed trades people is misleading and appears to be intentionally deceptive. The letter implies that if Question 1 on the June ballot is upheld sales taxes could be expanded to electrical, plumbing and oil burner repair.

Question 1, An Act to Implement Tax Relief and Tax Reform, is a law currently on the books. A “yes” vote would repeal the law whereas a “no” vote would allow the tax relief law to stand.

Our members have been reaching out to the trades council because this misleading letter has them concerned. They have been misinformed about what the letter calls a possible new tax on electrical work if Question 1 is not repealed. It’s simply not true. After speaking with members of the Legislature, it’s clear to us that if there is something to be afraid of here, it’s the repeal of LD 1495 through the Question 1 referendum. The truth is that if the law is repealed there will be nearly a 30 percent increase in the maximum income tax rate and 95 percent of Maine residents will pay higher income taxes. We have checked our facts with the nonpartisan office of Maine Revenue Services.

It’s unfortunate the people who want you to repeal the law and vote yes clearly are using misinformation to try and build their case. Voting no means Mainers will get a tax break and we all know that would be a good idea.

John Napolitano

North Yarmouth

Celebration of poetry

We are used to returning to Rockland for history, art, music, innovation, and the preservation of Maine’s working ways. Now we applaud your celebration of poetry, another means of embodying all that, and because poetry is an old Maine way in its own right, as we know from our elders’ scrapbooks, cupboards and drawers.

Congratulations and thank you to distinguished poet and chairman, Carol Bachofner, and Rockland Public Library’s Director Amy Levine and staff for an amazing inaugural Poetry Month inviting all of us up and down the coast, related as we are in so many ways.

Congratulations to Kendall Merriam, poet laureate, and to those who honor themselves and Rockland by honoring him and his decades of highly regarded work “from” as well as “about” the heart of Maine.

The remarkable generosity of Heartsounds Press for donating prizes to the winning poets is memorable, indeed.

To all known and unknown who brought this about, thank you.

Pat Smith Ranzoni
Bucksport

Heartfelt thanks

How do you thank so many for helping out at the fundraiser for my sister? How do you acknowledge all of the warmth and compassion that filled the place the night of May 7? I looked around the room and saw a sea of faces: friends, colleagues, family and even complete strangers. The musicians gave so much of their time, rearranging work schedules, holding practices, meeting early for sound checks, and much more. As always it was an honor to have Skip Gorman share his incredible talents!

Ben Vail, the principal at Medomak Middle School, was extremely helpful with details and correspondences. Francis Boynton, the superintendent, was instrumental in obtaining the most worthy accommodations. The school janitors and Julie Sanborn, the music teacher, helped to make things go smoothly. Oren Robinson was a superb sound manager! Not only did he give much of his time making sure everything was in order but then he was the one lugging heavy equipment out after all was packed up for the night.

The local newspapers helped with suggestions and spreading the word. Dagney [Ernest] was wonderful! Friends baked delicious goods and Debbie Duncan kept the sales going throughout the night. A heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one who made the evening such a success.

Nancy T. Jones

Warren

Promoting beer

In my opinion President Obama is a “layman” not only in politics but in his ongoing advertisements to promote beer. Seriously, holding a beer party on the White House lawn with Vice President Biden, Officer Crowly and Professor Gates. Recently, Obama visited Maine to meet the co-owner Bill Millikan who runs the Maine Beer and Beverage Company. While there Obama asked him for some samples of beer. The president is supposed to be someone to look up to, for the American people to trust, and is to set examples that are to be positive and be a leader.

I have no respect for President Obama because he makes beer sound like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m sorry for the people who suffer with the serious addiction of alcohol. I am sorry for the people that are innocent who fall victim to an alcoholic. My advice to parents, screen your TV when the president speaks and continue to educate your children on the seriousness of alcoholism.

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

Lesa Dyer Kitching

Thomaston

Republican convention

Something wonderful happened at the Republican convention last weekend. Contrary to what some newspapers have reported, it was not divisive but extraordinarily unifying. Changes were brought about to make the state leadership and the party platform more expressive of the majority and these changes were accepted with great enthusiasm by about 80 percent of those assembled.

Was there some disagreement? Of course. Unless it is suppressed, there will always be differences of opinion. Some in the party have thought it best to make decisions and craft platforms that offend no one. But this approach sacrificed the clear delineation of the principles guiding us and differentiating us from our political opponents.

It was the vigorously expressed will of the delegates that we adopt a replacement platform put together primarily by a small group from Knox County with the collaboration of some from other counties. Most of the writing was done by Ted Cowan of Rockland who addressed the convention in a speech that went far to convince fence sitters to support the platform.

Proud to be from Knox County.

Patricia Egan

Rockport

Thanks to atlas exhibitors

On behalf of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation’s Marine Program and the members of the Muscongus Bay Project Steering Committee, we would like to recognize the efforts and extend our appreciation to the many local groups, businesses and individuals who have contributed their time, enthusiasm, contacts, and creativity to help make our traveling Muscongus Bay Atlas Exhibit such a wonderful success through the last leg of its tour. It has been a pleasure to work with you all.

In South Thomaston we would like to extend our thanks to Friends of the Weskeag, the Georges River Land Trust, the Georges River Tidewater Association, Hoggy’s, the South Thomaston Public Library, the Sea Store, the town of South Thomaston, and the Wessaweskeag Historical Society.

From Cushing we thank the Cushing Post Office, Cushing Public Library, Cushing Community School, Georges River Land Trust, town of Cushing, A.S. Fales & Son, representatives from the Joint Board of Selectmen and the Georges River Shellfish Management Committee, and local residents.

In Warren we would like to express our gratitude to the Georges River Land Trust, Warren Community School, Warren Free Public Library, Warren True Value, Damariscotta Bank & Trust, Warren Historical Society, University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Knox and Lincoln Counties, Mid-Coast Audubon Society, and local business owners.

Thanks again!

Jennifer Atkinson, director

QLF’s Marine Program

Amanda LaBelle, coordinator

QLF’s Muscongus Bay Project